Sunday, May 08, 2011

Sample: Cryoskip's Footprints, part 1

It's been a few weeks since I put a writing sample up, and since I have just released Cryoskip's Footprints, it seemed like the obvious choice for a new sample. Enjoy!
Cryoskip's Footprints
Striding into the dingy club, Derek took in the scene at a glance. It was typical of all the backwater dives he had seen countless times in his travels, full of people drinking to forget how crappy their life was out here in the wastelands. Three large men sitting in the corner took a mild interest in his

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cover For Next Atomic Wasteland Story

I haven't spoken much about it on the site, as writing it has been driving me nuts :) But I'm just about to send the next Atomic Wasteland story (Cryoskip's Footprints) off to Lynn (Red Adept) for editing.

My original plan was to finish the story by the end of February, but for some reason the words for this story have been hard to find. Thankfully, I've finally managed to extract them from my brain and get them into the computer. After some revising (and excellent feedback from my beta

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Flash Fiction: Pandemic

I originally wrote this piece for Karen Berner's Bibliophilic Blather. Each month she has a specific theme for flash fiction submissions to her site. The theme for April is 'Spring Fever'. I had been watching too much House MD when I read the theme, and this was the result. The original post with the story is here.
Dr John Andrews looked through the transparent wall in his office toward the hospital entrance below. Hundreds of people filled the normally clear area, all seeking

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Two New Interviews

I've been interviewed again! Two interviews have gone live this week.

The first interview is over at Indie eBooks, a new site run by Nadine Earnshaw that has just started up. The second interview is over on Tales and Troubled Times of a Hungry Author, run by Roberto Scarlato. Both interviews feature "The Outsider" as the book I'm talking about.

Thanks to both Nadine and Roberto for interviewing

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Sample: The Outsider, part 2

This weeks sample is the second scene from The Outsider. If you missed it, you can read the first scene here.
The Outsider (continued)
Jacob stood with the town doctor and watched as the man slumbered restlessly on the bed. Jacob’s young daughter watched the stranger with a combination of fear and curiosity from the doorway, while his wife stood behind her and looked on disapprovingly.

“So, he will recover then?” Jacob asked.

“Oh, yes,” replied Doc Tanners. “Luckily, his

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

#ROW80 Round Two - The Goals

So, another round of ROW80 is upon us. And now it's time to come up with some specific goals to work toward for this round.

I may add to this list of goals, but for the moment I'm going to go with the following:

Complete a short story at the end of every month - I don't really have an option with this goal. I've made a booking with my editor to submit a short story at the end of every month, so I need to get those stories written.

Get Gears of Wonderland to beta readers by the end of

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Friday, March 25, 2011

#ROW80 Week 12 - The End (Round 1)

Oops. Don't you hate it when you think you have a few more days than you actually have :)

For some reason, when I wrote last Sunday's post I thought there was still a full seven days left for round 1 of ROW80. Of course, thinking about it that doesn't make sense, since then it would be 84 days (12 x 7), and not 80 days.

Never mind. I made good progress for my weekly goal of finishing off the short story. I still have a couple of thousand words left (I've got to throw out one scene now

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hard Deadlines

One of the killers for any sort of project that you do in your own time is the lack of a deadline. If there is no time limit for when something has to be done, you're relying on yourself to get it done in a reasonable time.

For some people this isn't a problem. They're self-disciplined enough to get the work done in a reasonable time. But for the rest of us, we're not so lucky :)

Challenges like Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) are fantastic for helping to set goals with a time limit.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Aliens vs Ninja (in a fun way)

One of the things I enjoy about meeting and interacting with other authors, is occassionally getting to beta read upcoming work. That was the case for Keith C. Blackmore's latest novella, The Bear That Fell From The Stars. I first read this back in January, and I've been itching for it to come out.

I honestly loved reading this story. I have a strong interest in medieval Japan (I'd never write something set there, because I know I'd get the minor details wrong, but I love reading about the

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sample: The Outsider

For this weeks sample, I've decided to post the first scene of The Outsider. I wanted to paint details of the setting in broad strokes, and introduce Jacob as a man who knows he is risking a lot by helping the dying stranger who has turned up at the gates. I hope you enjoy.

The Outsider
Jacob blinked the sweat from his eyes. The harsh afternoon sun burned, even in the relative shade of the watchtower, and he longed for the end of his shift to arrive so he could get down from the

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Focusing Your Writing Time

It's somewhat ironic that the day after I post I'm going to make this blog more reader-orientated, I make a post that is writer-orientated. But I've been trying out a new (free) program the past few days, and found it to be fantastic for helping me write.

The software is called Focus Booster. I found out about it when Amanda Hocking mentioned it on her blog (who in turn found out about it from Zoe Winters).

What does it do? Basically it puts a little timer on your screen (you can move it

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Monday, March 14, 2011

A Question of Purpose

I haven't been blogging much thepast month or so, and the main reason boils down to the title of this post. What is the purpose of this blog?

When it comes right down to it, I want this blog to be a way for me to interact with my readers (admittedly that's only a handful of people right now, but I hope that will slowly change in the future :) ). To have a place to be me, and hopefully show that there is a person "behind the book". But for a while, I had lost sight of this.

Instead, I had

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sampler: Scull (The Vampire Drabbles)

Another sample drabble from The Vampire Drabbles. One of the things I like about drabbles (and writing in general) is playing with expectations; taking the normal, and making it abnormal. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Hopefully this one does :)
“Scull, scull, scull, scull, scull.” The crowd chanted loudly, cheering as Steve finished. Steve shared a round of high-fives with everyone around him.

“Not bad, not bad,” yelled Bob over the crowd’s noise, slapping

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

"The Outsider" (post-apocalypse short story) is now available

My short story, The Outsider, is finally available on Amazon (and coming soon to Smashwords, and everywhere that Smashwords distribute to).

The Outsider is the first story in a series I've called "Atomic Wasteland Tales". It's a post-apocalyptic setting, many decades after a nuclear war that wiped out the majority of the world's population. The stories (at least initially) aren't linked in an overarching sequence, but there will be recurring characters and places appearing through

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

#ROW80 Week 8 - Sigh

After having a good week last week by crossing off one goal from the list, this week was a bit of a disappointment. Since we're starting to get near the end of this round of ROW80, I"m beginning to get a little concerned.

Write one drabble a day – I only ended up writing three. I have been playing with the idea for the next collection of having 5-6 linked drabbles that fit together to form a narrative arc (the cause, and possible end, of the zombie apocalypse), in addition to the other

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Author Interview: Michael Crane

Today's interview is very important to me. I reviewed Michael's book, Lessons and Other Morbid Drabbles, back in December. His book was the reason I started playing around writing drabbles, which eventually led me to write The Vampire Drabbles. So I was extremely happy when he agreed to my request for an interview.

Michael is slightly unusual compared to most authors, because he focuses his writing on short stories. He speaks a little about why in this interview. I hope you enjoy it.


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Monday, February 21, 2011

I've Been Interviewed

Keith C. Blackmore has just interviewed me over on his website. It's my first interview, so I'm somewhat excited :) Hopefully I didn't make too much of a fool of myself!

And while it's not as exciting as an interview, The Vampire Drabbles have just been listed on the Excuse Me, Miss list of 99 cent

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

#ROW80 Week 7 - One Goal Crossed Off

I'm very happy with week 7 for ROW - I can finally cross one goal off as being totally completed! :) Of course, to balance that out I didn't do too well at one of my important goals for the week, but I'll give myself a pass anyway ;)

Write one drabble a day – Done! Many zombie short stories are starting to fill my Scrivener project for this collection. I've been hitting pretty close to the 100-word count this past week, usually only needing to delete a few words. I'm not entirely sure if

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

#ROW80 Week 6 - Even More Editing

So, week six has now been and gone. Wow. Not too bad for this week really.

Write one drabble a day – I didn't quite make this goal for the week, writing only five drabbles in the end. But I did manage to write my first drabble that was exactly 100 words when I'd finished my first draft of it - no editing required! Of course, I'll probably edit it later on, but that's beside the point :)

One ~5k short story a month – After two false starts for a paranormal mystery that just wasn't

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Monday, February 07, 2011

#ROW80 Week 5 - Edit, Edit, Edit!

The title of the post pretty much sums up this week - it's been a week of editing and re-writing. Overall the editing has been very successful, although I will be changing my goals again as a result.

From the start I've had a goal to work on my current WiP (On Ice) at the same time as I edit my first novel (Gears of Wonderland) and write a short story. I don't think I can effectively do all three at the moment, since Gears needs ~10k new words as well as the usual fixing of mistakes. So for

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Book Review: Lessons II by Michael Crane

NOTE: I do not accept books for review. Reviews posted here are only for indie books that I have bought, and enjoyed enough to tell others about them. No, I don't post reviews for books I would rate less than 3.5 stars.

I reviewed Michael's first book of drabbles, Lessons and Other Morbid Drabbles, back in December. I became interested in writing drabbles (stories exactly 100 words long) after reading his book, and got so attached to them I'll be publishing my own collection

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Amanda Hocking - Over Half a Million Books Sold!

No, seriously. She has just posted about it over here on her blog.

I'm sure that there will be people who claim she is lying. I'm sure there will be people who start trying to knock her down, because she's being "too successful" (there are always sad individuals who can't be happy about someone else being successful). But in every interaction I've seen Amanda involved with she has always been a pleasant, classy person. She deserves every success she has had so far, and I wish her all the

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

#ROW80 Week 4 - Six of one, half a dozen of the other

So, this is the end of week 4. It's hard to believe that it's been four weeks since the whole process started.

This week has been mostly positive. So without further ado:

Write 2,500+ words on my WIP – Not done - I stopped writing this week and deliberately spent most of the time working on a precise outline, figuring out every scene I was going to have between where I currently am and the end of the book. I restarted writing today, and already things seem a bit easier. I'm going to

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Guest Post: Excuses Excuses Excuses

Today's guest post is from Tammie Clarke Gibbs. Tammie is the author of the time travel romance novel Island of Secrets. Her article talks about a problem every beginning author faces - the ease of finding excuses for why we aren't achieving what we want to achieve. I'll let Tammie describe what she means herself.

I believe that sometimes we (authors) are our own worst enemies.

To become a specialist in any occupation a certain amount of time, effort and investment is expected. Yet, as

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

What We Are Creating

Over on the Superstars Writing Seminar web site, there is an extremely moving audio from Tracy Hickman about what we are doing as authors when we write our stories. I urge you to listen to it (it's around 10 minutes

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Monday, January 24, 2011

#ROW80 Week 3 - Altering Course

Another week gone, in what seems like the blink of an eye! This week was an interesting one for me. I had been on holidays the last few weeks, but alas it was back to work this week. It wasn't something that I'd really thought about too much when setting my ROW80 goals (since I had finished NaNoWriMo fine while working), but it's been pretty obvious this week that with everything I want to achieve, I'm going to need to make a change to one of the goals!

Not surprisingly, the goal I'm going

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Review: Decisions by R. Doug Wicker

NOTE: I do not accept books for review. Reviews posted here are only for indie books that I have bought, and enjoyed enough to tell others about them.

I'm a big fan of murder mystery stories, but for some reason I've never read a lot of them. I'm not entirely sure why that is - I guess I tend to lean toward sci-fi, fantasy and urban fantasy as my first reading preference, which leaves little time to read other genres. But I saw a brief description about Decisions on the KindleBoards (the

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

#ROW80 Week 2 - Stormy Weather

Unlike week 1, this week hasn't been too good as far as meeting my ROW80 goals is concerned. I think it's too early to panic and change my goals, but I will be keeping a close eye on how I go the next two weeks.

So, how did I do?

Average 1,000 words a day on my WIP – not at all. To be honest, my average for the week was just under 500 words a day. Looking to improve this week!
Write one drabble a day – done.
One ~5k short story a month – I've added a few more words to the

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Author Interview: Keith C. Blackmore

Todays post is an interview with Keith C. Blackmore. Keith writes in the horror and epic fantasy genres, two genres that I enjoy reading. You can read more about the books Keith has written at

1. What are your influences and sources of inspiration?
I was an avid reader of comic books and later got into trade paperbacks. I read a lot of different stuff, from action adventure to horror, SF to fantasy. The first novel I read was Conan by Robert E Howard, and a

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Guest Post: Six Fantasy Cliches To Avoid

Todays post is a guest article by William Meikle. William is currently holding a blog tour across many author/writing blogs, and is running a contest to help gain interest. Anyone who comments on this blog post will be entered into a draw to win a Kindle loaded with all of William's books. So get commenting! :)
Six Fantasy Cliches To Avoid
Fantasy fiction is doing good business at the moment, but there are certain situations that have been overplayed. So much so, that they have become genre

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Review: Dark and Darker by Ryne Douglas Pearson

NOTE: I do not accept books for review. Reviews posted here are only for indie books that I have bought, and that I enjoyed enough to tell others about them.

I can't remember how I initially stumbled across Ryne Douglas Pearson's books - I think it might have been a link to his web site on the Kindle Boards. Anyway, while looking at the list of books he had written on his site I saw Dark and Darker. I've become interested in short stories lately (since I'm writing a few myself :) ), and

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

#ROW80 Week 1 - Clear Days

Ok, so officially we're supposed to check in for ROW80 on Wednesdays and Sundays. I'm not a "check in twice a week" person, so I'm just going to be doing the Sunday updates :)

So how has week 1 of ROW80 gone? Very well so far! Obviously we're only at the start, but looking at my goals for the challenge...

Average 1,000 words a day on my WIP - done for the first five days this week (I work out the average for the week on Fridays, since I don't write a lot on the weekend). I was worried I

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Indie Author Sales in December

Over on the Kindle Boards indie authors are once again giving details on their sales for December, and once again I'm compiling them all into a single list.

It's fascinating seeing the difference between November and December. Authors on the Kindle Boards were saying that they were seeing good sales for December as the month progressed, and the final results definitely show that.

In November, after the authors who had less than 30 sales for the month, the largest group was authors who got

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